Sunday, October 24, 2010
Oct 18 Meeting Minutes:
Fantastic images from several members were shown. Mac MacCay just returned from a photo vacation in the Southwest, and he showed us the recents of night photography of bats feeding on cactus flowers and drinking water. Amazing images. Explore Mac's website: http://www.mrspiff.com/
Scott Frazee demonstrated some photoshop techniques, and shared with use some amazing local locations for photo shoots along the bluffs of the Mississippi, near Valmeyer. Do you have a location to share with others? Come to a meeting and share. Maybe invite others in the group to head out for a photo shoot. Our official meetings are held on the Third Monday of each month; however, individuals are encouraged to contact each other to go on shoots together more frequently. Make it easy for someone to contact you - send some contact information in to be published in a Photography Section directory.
Next Meeting: November 15th. Assignment PRIOR to the meeting - photograph an egg. Sound simple? Bring your interpretation of an egg to the November meeting. Scott has also offered to provide more information on retouching.
Information provided by Scott Frazee:
Here are my follow-up items from the meeting last night:
The name of the plug-in I use for skin retouching is Imagenomic’s Portraiture. You can find more out about it here: http://www.imagenomic.com/pt.aspx. Doing a quick Google search will bring up discounts/coupon codes ranging from 10 – 25%. I do not represent the company, nor do I get a kick back if you purchase the software ;) I like it because it literally saves me hours of time when working on retouching people’s skin as it can be batched into a Photoshop action. I know they also have a Lightroom tool, but I have not used that yet.
If folks are interested in learning some skin retouching techniques, I strongly recommend Nick Saglimbeni from Slickforce Studios. Here’s their website: www.slickforce.com (some of the images are not be suitable for work). The product/training is called Mastering , and can be found through the above site – or directly at www.masteringretouching.com. Again, note that the website may not be suitable for work; however, the training materials are very tastefully done, and never show anything more than you’d see at the beach. The set is expensive, but the concepts are very easy to pick up and adapt to your own workflow (I personally use a combination of his style and the Portraiture plug-in). It is important to note, though, that his techniques can be done solely with the tools within Photoshop … you do not need to purchase anything else to learn his techniques.
We’ll cover some of the high level aspects of the Master Retouching techniques (analyzing an image to see what needs to be “fixed”, contour mapping and doing basic retouching in next month’s Artists Guild meeting).
From the slideshow last night, the location out in St. Charles that’s above the tree line and is perfect for sunset/model shots is known as the WSSRAP. Be advised that the observation area at the top is small; four photographers and two models is workable, albeit a bit cramped. There’s about a ¼ mile walk from the parking lot to the top of the structure with a fair amount of stairs to climb.
http://www.lm.doe.gov/weldon/Sites.aspx (Official site - the fact sheet/PDF tells the background of how it came to be)
Here’s a link on Google Maps: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=weldon+springs,+mo&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=51.310143,78.662109&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Weldon+Springs&ll=38.699176,-90.715141&spn=0.049837,0.076818&t=h&z=14 (the WSSRAP is the large gray object off of Hwy 94)
In the spirit of Halloween, here’s some information on the mausoleum outside of Valmeyer, IL. It is called; travel time from the JB Bridge is roughly 10 minutes. The mausoleum is part of a cemetery named Eagle Cliff Cemetery.
http://irrationalecstasy.blogspot.com/2006/03/miles-mausoleum.html (background on the location’s history)
http://graveyards.com/graveyard/?id=2695 (some snapshots showing the mausoleum and the graveyard)
Here’s a link on Google maps: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=valmeyer,+il&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=51.310143,78.662109&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Valmeyer,+Monroe,+Illinois&ll=38.363262,-90.261955&spn=0.025035,0.038409&t=h&z=15
Further down Bluff Road (roughly five minutes further south from the mausoleum) is “Rock City” which are limestone tunnels that have been quarried and now store federal records. The stone structure housed the original power generator for the quarries and looks to be a great place to shoot. Advise models that the ground is uneven, with plenty of rusty items and broken glass on the ground.
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/illinois/article_bfeba015-42b1-56f6-bfc2-bfed6864cdce.html (St. Louis Post Dispatch write-up on the veterans records stored there)
Here’s a link on Google Maps: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=valmeyer,+il&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=51.310143,78.662109&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Valmeyer,+Monroe,+Illinois&ll=38.303779,-90.308712&spn=0.003132,0.004801&t=h&z=18
Finally, the last location we talked about last night is near Ellisville. Around the corner from the park, off of New Ballwin Road, you’ll find the Wildlife Rescue Center. Past the center is a gravel parking lot where the old stone structure of a long since destroyed bar/speak easy was situated (the name of the place escapes me). The “ruins” are all stone, with a number of nice archways and open window areas to shoot against. Again, it’s perfect for shooting models. The location is roughly 40 yards from decent parking and the walk is flat … so this is an ideal place to shoot and bring lights/gear to.in
Here’s a link on Google maps: http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=1128+New+Ballwin+Road,+Ballwin,+MO&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=35.631106,63.808594&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=1128+New+Ballwin+Rd,+Ballwin,+St+Louis,+Missouri+63021&ll=38.55121,-90.550006&spn=0.00078,0.0012&t=h&z=20
Should anyone want to get together for an afternoon shoot with a model or two on a weekend in any of these locations, I’d definitely be open to it. Feel free to call or email me. I’m also interested in learning/hearing about more locations that others may be aware of. In particular, I’m fond of dilapidated buildings/schoolhouses/churches that are still safe to be in – and don’t require a hike to get to (I get enough exercise at the WSSRAP).